mercredi 31 octobre 2012

When Accepting Hashish Offered in Hospitality, I Considered Myself Free from Mortal Sin

I have never recommended anyone to take hashish, nor offered anyone, nor ever rolled a joint, except perhaps once. I have dissuaded from its use under present legislation (outside Holland) due to its making consumers depend on Muslim producers and smugglers and therefore contributing to non-resistance against a threat to our future freedoms. But I will not quite abandon my own freedom in this case, since Muslims are not the only threat to freedom.

According to Jone-Adelman in Moral Theology, the use of drugs in small quantities and only occasionally is a venial sin if done without sufficient reason.*

Thank you, Jone Adelman!

The old text books [on moral theology] do not speak of this new problem of the modern world. However, the immorality of drug abuse can be clearly deduced from the principles which allow an evaluation of the malice of alcohol abuse. The distinction is made between imperfect drunkenness, the fact of making oneself tipsy deliberately, which can only be a venial sin, and perfect drunkenness, which is drinking until one is drunk. This is a mortal sin because a drunken person loses the use of reason.

Thank you, Tradition, thank you, St Thomas Aquinas!

Tipsy mean : euphoric but not without judgement.

There are quantities of alcohol that do not even make me tipsy, and there are quantities of hashish which do not make me tipsy. There are other quantities that make me tipsy, but not drunk, of either of the two, and there are still other quantites that make one drunk rather than just tipsy. I try to avoid the two in those quantities.

It is actually not easy for me to get "high" - i e completely intoxicated - on hashish, just as it is not easy for me to invigorate myself with nicotine. I never learned to make inhalations into the lungs while having the habit of smoking tobacco, and so I never got much intoxicating effect from smoking joints either. I have tried to avoid rooms full of smoke of that drug and mostly succeeded. If I take the smoke of three mouthfuls into my mouth to taste it, and pass on the joint, I will not even get tipsy. Which is what I habitually did from after third time I was high (that third time certainly only tipsy, the other two times before it probably so) to when I stopped receiving hospitalities from people who offer joints. Since I found it onerous to accept people offering tobacco as alms and then getting asked for tobacco, when I have none, as I do not procure it myself, I said "I don't smoke" - and it works with people offering hashish too, if true.

I might have preferred hospitalities from people offering me wine in a glass (three being my habitual limit - the one I impose on myself, I mean) and no hashish: no offense meant to those who were hospitable, but that and those people or some of them would simply have been more of my style.

Now, being polite to your host is a reason, even for doing what would otherwise be sinful. St Francis of Sales states that trying to please one's neighbour - and that means on nearly all occasions the people one is in the same room of corner of the street with certainly those you receive hsopitalities from - excuses from sin, so that mortal ones are venial if done for that purpose and venial ones totally excused. He was obviously not thinking of direct sins against chastity at the moment, but of dancing (which can be an occasion for sins against chastity) and card playing which was often done for money (a sin against justice, mortal or venial according to what sums are involved) and is probably comparable to tipsiness and drunkenness.

Now to the SSPX Fathers who would want me to accuse myself of those past acts as of mortal sins, presumably.

The consumption of illegal drugs, even those called soft drugs, is comparable not to becoming tipsy on a little wine but to perfect drunkenness. For these drugs have their effect by causing a “high,” that is, an emotional experience when a person escapes from the demands of reality. For a brief period he lives in an unreal, euphoric world. All the other effects, such as relaxation, come as a consequence of this “high,” or unreal euphoria. If this state does not always prohibit all use of reason, it most certainly does always impede the most important use of reason, which St. Thomas just explained to us “whereby he is directed to God and avoids committing many sins.” All drugs deaden the conscience, and obscure the practical judgment as to right and wrong and what we must do.

This is experimentally not true. The third time I was tipsy on hashish I definitely prayed Glorias in order to offer up to God my tipsiness, as I would have done with an unexpected amount of alcoholic hospitality received. All of the three times I prayed not to be influenced by evil. In none of the three occasions did I commit a sin (apart from the hashish consumption), and on the first occasion I helped another homeless man with his luggage(it was he who offered me the hashish).

As for "unreal euphoria", that is precisely the emotional state in which a tipsy man is. Making that a criterium of perfect drunkenness is doing service to Methodists and other Protestant sects who do not distinguish between tipsiness and perfect drunkenness. As well as to - Muslims.

All drugs deaden the conscience, and obscure the practical judgment as to right and wrong and what we must do. [...] As previously mentioned, the principal evil of drug abuse is the destruction of moral conscience.

On none of the three occasions did I have a duty which I missed for being in an euphoric state. The judgement just cited is an example of doctrinaire prejudice rather than a reasoned summing up of observed fact.

... an emotional experience when a person escapes from the demands of reality.

Reality does not demand. Some realities - such as fellow human persons or such as one's own human nature - do on some occasions. That is quite another matter. Anyone using habitually the phrase "the demands of reality" is suspect of being a Puritan.

The reality of Heaven demands that we praise. The reality of Hell demands that we do penance. The reality of economics demand that we do something for our living, including just trusting God, if we are to believe the Sermon on the Mount. None of these realities demand that we do these things all of the time. Unlike the demand to avoid sin.

The reality of Academics - and I have best grades for five years worth of study, though when I send the assistant of the linguistics department of Lund a letter to get the attestation for it, I receive no answer. It might be because that man knows me from previous occasions, it might be because he considers me a madman, it might be because he is a kind of freemason who is involved in some scheme to give me a lesson - where documenting my good grades would make me look too good to get exposed to the lesson. But this same reality most certainly does not require one to be under that demand all of the time, I was expressly recommended by my Latin Docent to relax the evening before an exam. I never did that with hashish, I often did that with good food and wine. But the principle remains good: an emotional experience of "escaping the demands of reality" is not a bad thing. It is a necessary thing for a normal life.

It follows that the atrocious consequences of drug abuse are inseparable from it, and are willed together with the drugs themselves. This includes the breaking of the law in the consumption of drugs; and in the means of obtaining them, such as theft; and in the effort to sell them in turn to others, often minors or children.

I never did these things, except break the law - if that is a just law, and a law, that is, and excepting the countries where mere use when offered is no legal offense.

Of course, Muslims would class my offering of Christian Apologetics as much worse than offering drugs. And I did that to young (major or minor is of little importance: after age 7 one has a right to the Catholic truth even against one's parents, if one wants to) and to children when given occasion (as to children, it was in Carpentras, and I explained that to come to Paradise one must not just do the right acts on earth, but love God as a friend, i e be in a state of Grace: and it was their parents who had sent them to me).

But FSSPX should not believe I have offered drugs because I have done what Muslims consider the equivalent fo offering drugs.

Long term results are also willed in their cause, and they include such things as emotional and physical addiction, the passage from soft to hard drugs, the damage done to the body and to general health by prolonged drug use, culminating in the “fried” brains of the person who cannot even reason clearly, let alone make a moral judgment. It is a mortal sin to place one’s physical and spiritual health in such proximate danger, even if a person is to pretend that he is immune from this danger and that “it could not happen to me.”

It is however not the case that such long term results are willed in their causes if sufficient caution is taken to avoid them. With alcohol there are two medical long term results to avoid, namely alcoholism ad cirrhosis. To avoid cirrhosis, do not drink more than one litre of wine (two pints) a day. I recently learned that to avoid brain impairment one should not even drink more than 4 glasses of wie per day. To avoid alcoholism: do not drink to get drunk, do not drink on empty stomach when you get drunk quicker, do not drink when sadness prompts and hidden loneliness allows overconsumption. I have applied these rules, and also avoided to spend too much time with people whose hospitality would not allow me to keep them.

Similar rules can be used to avoid similar long term effects of hashish. In my case, I very much avoided getting high after those three times (which, by the way, were confessed in Gluges, Christmas Day 2005) only taking three mouthfuls without pulmonic inhalation and passing the joint or even saying "no thanks, I do not smoke".

Other consequences include the incredible self-indulgence which accompanies the almost insatiable desire for always more titillating experiences,

Effect or concomitant?

sins of blasphemy, the often satanic rock music,

Not an effect of drugs in themselves. Company that incites to blasphemy and to clearly satanic rock is to be avoided even if offering no hashish.

Whether Beatles be convertly satanic or not, it is quite another matter than AC/DC' Highway to Hell.

and the sins against purity and chastity, which are the consequence of the loss of shame and conscience.

I have seen people in Christiania and elsewhere smoke hashish without any sin against purity and chastity. Some people who do smoke hashish are among the people I count among the chastest. If I am not very chaste myself it is not hashish which is to blame.

Sins against charity and justice abound, such as disobedience to parents and refusal to do one's duty at school or work, not to mention the bad company-keeping which is the breeding ground of all vices.

This is not the analysis of a Moralist deciding what penance to give someone who confesses to have been high on marijuana, it is an overtowering, hysterical summing up of a preacher. Let us take it one by one:

Sins against charity and justice abound,
What about such sins in people hysterically overanxious about the matter? Hasty judgement?
such as disobedience to parents
Depends on what parents you have. Not that not obeying parents is always evil.
refusal to do one's duty at school
I did more than my duty at school, on some subjects. But speaking about "duty at school" is fraught with ambiguity, since most young people at school are not there by a duty to persevere in a noble enterprise of learning, but rather by a pseudo-duty, a legal obligation (passing now far over the usual rights of a state according to Christian Theology) or, after 16, economic extorsion, since modern enterprising in the West gives little occasion for the young to open an enterprise (confer back when one could start collecting firewood outside town and selling it in town, or when one could herd sheep and goats for the village as soon as one was able to): as we have no duty to obey tyranny of state, neither have we any real duty to obey tyranny of modern commerce.
refusal to do one's duty at work
When one has freely cotracted a work, one is bound either to fulfill the duties one agrees to or end the contract. I think many who smoke hashish end the contracts and search other means of livelihood, including busking or begging - and even more fulfill their duties according to contract.
not to mention the bad company-keeping which is the breeding ground of all vices
Including the vice of hasty judgement (not to mention calumny) about what this or that other company is worth. I am victim of such judgements and have a right to complain.

It is a mortal sin to place one’s physical and spiritual health in such proximate danger,

The man who wrote that had no idea what "proximate danger" means. Or he forgot his knowledge in favour of currying favour to a doctor who has no idea himself.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Audoux Library, Paris
All Hallows' Eve

*All quotes from:
Is smoking marijuana a sin? (FSSX Catholic FAQ)

The second of the two authors - because the articles are two - one Fr. Peter Scott - has shown himself very unbalanced on the issue by the fact that he recommends some severe - I think he uses the word "desperate" - cases of alcoholism to have recourse to Alcoholics Anonymous, even if he admits it is Syncretistic.

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